From Pittsburgh Streets
Old Penn Street, Pittsburgh
Further Extracts From Mrs. Gormly's Reminiscences of Her Childhood—The Warm Poliitcs [sic] of 1860—The Guns That Did Not Go South. The Prince of Wales' Visit Opportune.
When the Civil War Burst Upon Us—The Drills in Neville Hall—The Elite City Guards—The Three-Months' Men of 1861—Some Noted Pittsburgh Soldiers—Roster of the Guards.

Continued from Last Sunday.

CONTINUING Mrs. Agnes Hays Gormly's reminiscences of Pittsburgh in her childhood and youth extracted from the paper she read before the Twentieth Century Club in 1902, the period drawn upon for today's story was that immediately preceding the outbreak of the Civil War. In a paragraph quoted last week these lines will be found: "Now a subtle change begins. Politics are much discussed. Even the prospect of a visit by the Prince of Wales hardly checks that. The politics of the time had to do with the election of a president to succeed James Buchanan and the success of Abraham Lincoln at the November election in 1860 terminated a bitter campaign and led to the break of the slave oligarchy of the South and brought on the Civil War. It is to be remembered that his Royal Highness Albert Edward was in Pittsburgh only one month before the presidential election and in his tour of the United States had ample opportunity to see and learn much of American politics and political methods, but that phase of his visit is foreign to Mrs Gormly's story. It is well to remember that it is a fact of history that Old Mother England leaned strongly toward the South and only a year later our country was kept from a war with Great Britain by the cool diplomacy of Secretary of State Seward. The crisis came by reason of the stopping of a British mail steamer by the United States man-of-war San Jacinto, Capt. Charles Wilkes and the seizure of two Confederate envoys, Mason and Slidell. Secretary Seward, although the weight of precedent established by decisions of the British Admiralty courts was largely on the side of the dictum that neutral vessels knowingly carrying officials or dispatches of the enemy could be seized and condemned. Capt. Wilkes was wrong in letting the vessel go, and decidedly wrong in taking the envoys from it. No principal [sic] of international law justified such an act, and no nation except Great Britain had ever insisted upon such a right. Indeed in 1812 our United States had gone to war with England in opposition to the doctrine involved in the San Jacinto case.

Agreed to Arbitration.

But the storm blew over and the United States had to swallow a bit of crow, always hard to swallow, but after 1865 with 1,000,000 seasoned veterans ready and willing for any service, and 500 armed vessels in commission England, proud mistress of the seas, swallowed a nice bit of American crow and agreed to arbitrate the Alabama claims, so called from the Confederate privateer of that name. The decision against England, these claims arising out of the depredations of the privateers fitted out, armed and manned in England, were paid in accordance with the decision.

We may now go back and in memory see young Albert Edward feted and honored in our land, especially so in loyal Pittsburgh; six months later this land torn apart with what the war-time orators called "fratricidal strife," and a year after the heir apparent to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland, etc., had left our shores behold the most bitter hatred between kindred nations and open war only averted by our government "backing down," as the saying goes. A powerful nation and the Solid South were too many to handle just at that time. Had Albert Edward come in November, 1861, instead of October, 1860, what a difference there would have been—"but he wouldn't have come," someone remarks. Wile we may admit this, we can still keep our minds on the events of an exciting year—and say something about the whirl-i-gig of time, for certainly there was performed in that year some quick revolutions of old Father Time. Who remembers them?

Removal Order Causes Storm.

Three months after Albert Edward left Pittsburgh the city was in a rage on account of the attempt to remove the ordnance from the Allegheny Arsenal in Lawrenceville for shipment to Ship Island, Mississippi. This order by John B. Floyd, secretary of war under President Buchanan, caused as great, if not greater, excitement in Pittsburgh than the news of the firing on Fort Sumter a little over three months later, and had not the order been countermanded by Floyd at the direct order of the President in his constitutional capacity as commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, the first overt act of war would have been executed on the Monongahela wharf, Pittsburgh, instead of Charleston, S. C., but it would have been a loyal act. The story of the cannon, and a thrilling act in Pittsburgh history was written in The Gazette Times of ⸻ —, ⸺. But we will follow Mrs. Gormly now, for her memory is refreshing. She tells that:

"A curious restlessness now developed, even among the younger fry; fencing took the place of rowing, older people talked much of South Carolina and Massachusetts, and referred regretfully to the days of John C. Calhoun or Daniel Webster; party feeling ran high, the "jeunesse doree" (gilded youth), organized as the City Guards; Capt. T. J. Brereton brought his West Point training into service and drilling went on in Neville Hall. An order from the War Department to ship South most of the big cannon from the arsenal set the town wild with excitement, and then one April day the echo of that gun fired on Fort Sumter reached us, and the quiet of the town was gone to return no more. The great mills became greater to supply the ironclads, the great guns and shot and shell."

Mrs. Gormly could also have added implements such as picks, spades, shovels, mattocks, axes, and vehicles such as ambulances and what came to be known as Army wagons, canvas-topped, and something like the old Conestoga, but straighter framed and much smaller. Train and boat loads of these essentials of field service left Pittsburgh for more than four years, and there was a hum of industry in the old town then that was some hum, compared with ordinary hums. Capt. Brereton, who was a son-in-law of Mrs. Elizabeth O'Hare Denny, was a graduate of West Pint, class of 1843, and had been commander at the Allegheny Arsenal. The formation of the city guards was instigated by James H. Childs, who, instead of joining the Duquesne Greys, besought his associates to get up a new company "of our own personal friends," he said. Maurice Wallace, who had served in the United States Army, was secured as drillmaster, who instructed the company for many months before the long-expected storm of war burst. When President Lincoln called for volunteers the City Guards promptly volunteered. Circumstances prevented Capt. Brerton [sic] from active service, so he resigned, and Alexander Hays, Mrs. Gormly's father, was elected in his stead. Alexander Hays was graduated from West Point in 1844, and had served through the Mexican War, with more than one citation for gallantry. Previous to the Civil War, he was a civil engineer in Pittsburgh, with his office in Grant street, near Fourth. He had resigned from the Army after the peace with Mexico.

Rush to Join Guard.

When it became known that Alex Hays was to command the City Guards there was a rush to joint [sic] it, and the company's roster was soon filled. It was accepted and mustered into the United States service as Company K of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Volunteers. The other company officers were James H. Childs, first lieutenant, and Algernon Sydney Mountain Morgan, second lieutenant. When the organization of the Twelfth was effected, Capt. Hays was elected major, which necessitated a new captain for Company K. Lieut. Childs stood aside for William C. Denny, who was in command during its term of service. Lieut. Childs, in his subsequent service, was colonel of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry and was killed at Antietam September 17, 1862. Hays arose to the command of a division and was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864. Lieut. Morgan became lieutenant colonel of the Sixty-third Pennsylvania and was so badly wounded at Fair Oaks, Va., May 31, 1862, that he was incapacitated from further service in the field, but continued in the service in various capacities until the close of the war. He died in 1910. He was the father of George N. Morgan and Mrs. W. Henry Singer, Jr., and Mrs. Joseph B. Shea of Pittsburgh. Col. Childs was the brother of Mrs. Oliver McClintock. Capt. Denny was the brother-in-law of Capt. Brereton, whose name we have commemorated in Brereton avenue, where he resided for many years.

All Did Their Utmost.

Mrs. Gormly states: "The City Guards under my father turned their play into earnest to fit themselves for the war game of whose ending none could tell; the girls gave up their time to helping forward equipments; and not without bitter tears, a heavy silk flag, each with its 13 stripes worked with the initials of the donors, was presented to the boys just before they left for the front with the Twelfth Regiment. Some of us remember the trooping of the colers [sic] with Mr. Ben Bakewell as color sergeant, Capt. Denny and Lieuts. Childs and Morgan grouped under the beautiful flag, while Sergt.-Maj. Bonafon and Sergts. Chapman and Phillips and Maj. Hays watched their puils in the school of arms, the erstwhile butterflies and dandies in perfect alignment. You could almost call the roll."

Mrs. Gormly names 14 here but as these names will appear in the complete roster below they will be omitted here. Returning to Mrs. Gormly's recollections her story proceeds:

"While drills were busily going on in Neville Hall, eagerly watched by the feminine contingent, do you remember the sensation when Mrs. Bagaley appeared with a bouquet tied with long streamers of red, white and blue? One day the cry of fire was raised and a column of smoke was seen rising from the freight depot at the foot of Liberty street, and a rumor spread that quantities of powder were stored there, which caused great excitement and a panic in the Fourth Ward, but it was found to be crude oil in barrels, from which the only danger was to be feared. Vesuvius could hardly show a more gorgeous spectacle of mounting flame and smoky columns, against which the old hand engines, manned by all sorts and conditions of men, were absolutely useless."

Grand Review Held.

That three months' campaign was bloodless, but worth much in the making of soldiers; tried and true Pittsburgh was seething with patriotism, and on the Fourth of July a grand review of all the Home Guards was held on the West Common, Allegheny. Gen. Wilkins, over 80, and up to this time the blackest of Democrats, was major general and superb in his military trappings, recalling the engravings of Wellington, but how to get him in the saddle was at first a serious problem, but by the aid of a green kitchen chair and much hauling and pushing, he was mounted, and in a second at home in the saddle. Gen. Thomas M. Howe was another who looked every inch the soldier. For hours the procession of enthusiastic troops passed the reviewing stand, cheered to the echo not only by the general population, but by the belles of society, seconded by us of the younger fry. This was a great day and this outburst of patriotism was potent in filling the "three years' regiments" then being recruited under President Lincoln's call (the second in order) for 300,000 troops. Gen. Wilkins was that astute diplomat and able jurist better known here as Judge Wilkins, who was spoken of last week and the preceding Sunday. The big fire destroying the Duquesne freight station occurred about the last of July, 1861.



Captain—William C. Denny.

First Lieutenant—James H. Childs.

Second Lieutenant—Algernon S. M. Morgan.

First Sergeant—Benjamin Bakewell.

Sergeants—Charles W. Chapman, John O. Phillips, Augustus B. Bonafon.

Corporals—Weston Roan, George Miltenberger, John T. Denniston, George P. Corts.

Musicians—William Jones, John Speer.


Atwell, Charles A.

Adams, Benjamin C.

Anderson, Thomas.

Anderson, Henry L.

Anderson, Henry H.

Bagaley, Theodore.

Black, Andrew P.

Brown, James J.

Brown, Samuel E.

Cummings, Jacob B.

Crummie, John.

Chalmers, George B.

Cain, John H.

Creighton, James.

Cook, Grant F.

Dalzell, A. Filson.

Dyer, William H.

Dilworth, George.

Dixon, James.

Fleming, James P.

Fritz, George S.

Grace, James.

Gray, Alexander.

Herron, David R.

Hughey, Julian H.

Hurley, Patrick.

Husk, Henry W.

Holliday, David.

Hanna, George.

Harlan, William.

Irwin, John.

Johns, David.

Jones, George W.

Kingsland, George.

Kelly, Edward.

Kiddoo, Joseph B.

Lefevre, John.

Logan, William.

Mowry, Robert G.

Moots, Augustus J.

Madeira, William D.

Mackey, David.

Mallow, John.

Moreland, Joseph.

McKee, Alexander.

McClintock, Walter S.

McKnight, William.

McClure, William G.

McCandless, William G.

McManus, Alexander.

Oliver, Henry W. Jr.

Parke, Frank H.

Robinson, Robert A.

St. Clair, William H.

Standford, Robert.

Spang, Charles.

Speer, William H.

Scott, William.

Tenipee, Robert.

Vaught, Henry.

Whitesides, Robert P.

Walker, Alexander.

Weisel, Alfred.

Young, Samuel B. M.

Of these names to the writer hereof there occur but two survivors, A. Filson Dalzell of Pittsburgh, and Lieut. Gen. S. B. M. Young, U. S. A., retired. A surprising number won high rank in subsequent service and many received commissions in lower grades. Cain, Childs and Bonafon were colonels; Park became a major and was killed in action. Atwell, Bagaley, Chipman [sic], Corts, Chalmers, Denniston and Fleming, became captains. McCandless was mustered out a major and Kiddoo badly wounded but recovering came out of the service with the single star of a brigadier general but remained in the United States Army until his death. Capt. Chapman was killed in a skirmish early in 1862.

To Be Continued Next Sunday.